[In the 80’s] the Left gave up on the idea of the working class as a revolutionary force, and looked instead to what they called “new social movements”: women, blacks and gays (yes – to many the three were somehow homogenous!)
This had three disastrous effects, which we are seeing today.
First, there was a privileging of identity politics over class. When combined – as it often was – with slack-jawed moral relativism, this led to the Left’s tolerance of reactionary beliefs as long as they are expressed by non-whites.
Secondly, the feminist slogan “the personal is political” has led to the belief that government should get involved in everything.
Thirdly, the left’s refusal to think about class, especially when combined with a tendency to cringe before the rich and powerful, caused it to naïvely regard bosses not as chancers and exploiters, but as “leaders.” This has given us a target-driven bureaucratized public sector which is plundered by “consultants.” It has also given us a government unable to fight against bankers.
That’s often because government officials are in the same class as the bankers and share the same rewards. Marxism indeed made the concept of class a foremost issue. But in practice today, it’s become so fossilized and by-the-book that new ideas are rarely allowed to intrude.
There’s a worldwide financial crisis going on. People are hurting. It’s the second decade of the 21st century and time for new ideas on the hard Left.